Is A SATA 3Gb/s Platform Still Worth Upgrading With An SSD? and more
Posted on: 04/22/2013 10:57 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Is A SATA 3Gb/s Platform Still Worth Upgrading With An SSD?, Garmin nuvi 2597LMT Review, Synology DS213+ High-Performance 2-Bay NAS Server for SMB Review, 3 Reasons Why Google Will Be More Valuable Than Microsoft, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 3-Way SLI Review
Is A SATA 3Gb/s Platform Still Worth Upgrading With An SSD? @ Tom's Hardware
Today's fastest SSDs already bounce off the SATA 6Gb/s interface's throughput ceiling. Does a 3 Gb/s link kill the performance of those drives? We run a number of synthetic and real-world tests to assess the damage when you upgrade an older platform.
Read more: Is A SATA 3Gb/s Platform Still Worth Upgrading With An SSD? @ Tom's HardwareGarmin nuvi 2597LMT Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Garmin navi 2597LMT inherits many of the positive characteristics of its more expensive sibling while leaving an extra $130 in your pocket. But the question we ask every time we review a GPS is whether it's worth it to buy a dedicated device rather than using a free app on a smartphone. In the nÃ¼vi 2597LMT's case, the answer is yesâ€”especially if you don't have, or want to use a smartphone.
Read more: Garmin nuvi 2597LMT Review @ TechReviewSource.comKorg Headtune HT-G2 Review @ TestFreaks
If you play guitar, bass or ukulele then today’s review item should be of interest. Tuning one’s instrument can be simple for those with perfect pitch hearing while others such as myself need some external assistance via a tuner. Korg has released a series of tuners for guitar, bass or ukulele dubbed the headtune.
This lightweight, portable tuner uses LEDs to helo identify the proper tuning for one’s instrument. The headtune fits easily on one’s guitar, bass, or ukulele’s headstock. The Korg headtune‘s display can be angled for optimal visibility with a range of 120°.
Read more: Korg Headtune HT-G2 Review @ TestFreaksSynology DS213+ High-Performance 2-Bay NAS Server for SMB Review @ Madshrimps
The new DS213+ 2-bay NAS from Synology is sporting a dual core processor at 1.067GHz with Floating Point, 512MB of DDR3 and a very low power consumption in both IDLE and Full Load. The chassis has a solid design like the more expensive 4-bay designs and operates with the latest DSM 4.2 version.
Read more: Synology DS213+ High-Performance 2-Bay NAS Server for SMB Review @ MadshrimpsPowerColor 7790 TurboDuo OC review @ Guru3D
We test and review the PowerColor Radeon HD 7790 TurboDuo OC edition incl FCAT Frametimes. The new graphics card is intended to boost a little more performance into entry-level gaming. The PowerColor TurboDuo HD7790 OC clocks in at 7.5% overclocking speed on boost engine, packed with dual-fan cooling and S-shape heat pipe direct touch technology.
So if you draw up a pie chart then you'd be surprised that the biggest chunk of the market for graphics cards is entry level. Obviously that makes a lot of sense as OEMs love to include the cheapest card available in a PC. But considering the price level, many people that do not have or want to spend heaps of cash to play a game might pick up one of these cards. I mean think back a year or three, I really liked the Radeon HD 5770 at the time. You know what? Here is a little history lesson on AMD's lineup over the years. It was October 2009 when ATI released the Juniper GPU, you know the product as the Radeon HD 5770. It has been one of the best selling graphics cards for ATI-AMD evah, for the very simple reason that for not a lot of money you received a product with 800 shader processors. So for a price just above entry level that made a thing or two possible, gaming at 1600x1200 became a viable reality and next to that a grand feature set was introduced (Eyefinity etc). Later on the 5770 got refreshed as the 6770, which mostly was the same product. Last year, in February 2012 AMD released a product developed under the GPU codename 'Cape Verde', the graphics cards derived from that GPU were the Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 One GHz Edition. That was not a refresh, it was a completely new GPU based on their GCN architecture. Interesting was that with less shader processors AMD was able to make these products faster. They benefited from the GCN architecture but also had a trump card at hand, as this was the first ever reference card that was clocked at 1 GHz - hence AMD gave all these cards a 'GHz Edition' extension. The 28nm node allows them to place a good 1.5 billion transistors onto the GPU's 123 mm2 die, and that made the card a good 25% faster.
Read more: PowerColor 7790 TurboDuo OC review @ Guru3DSapphire Radeon HD 7790 2GB OC Review @ OCC
After all the testing is done, the Sapphire HD 7790 2GB OC will offer up additional FPS performance when the settings are increased to take advantage of the larger frame buffer. Instances where running with a quartet of 4K monitors or when attempting to game at Eyefinity resolutions can provide some benefit over the 1GB-equipped cards. The most graphic example I saw in my testing of where the 2GB on this HD 7790 paid dividends was in the 3DMark Fire Extreme testing where this card proved without a doubt when the game settings are indeed high enough you do see a point of difference.
Read more: Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 2GB OC Review @ OCCSeagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB Review @ Techgage
SSDs are a hot market right now; they offer the most direct, tangible boost to overall performance and system responsiveness on a level that hasn’t been seen since the migration away from single-core processors. If you have used a system that had the OS & programs installed on an SSD, then you know. Even if not, it probably isn’t too hard to imagine what using a smartphone or tablet would feel like if it had a mechanical disk drive whirring inside instead of flash memory.
The secret to an SSD’s success starts with the lower access latency that NAND flash offers compared to magnetic drives. They aren’t just a single order-of-magnitude lower, but actually a whopping 2-3 times faster (14ms vs 0.1ms, typically) when seeking data. It’s one of the reasons smartphones and tablets ship exclusively with the same sort of NAND flash memory, even if the average laptop or desktop doesn’t. Laptops and PCs need significantly more storage capacity than a tablet or smartphone, so a comparable amount of NAND in them still raises the overall cost of a computer beyond the point where it would be uncompetitive versus others in the industry.
Read more: Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB Review @ TechgageAZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
It is widely believed that gaming headsets provide a much more immersive, captivating gaming experience than a speaker set up. They are also great in environments where the people around you don't fancy hearing deafening gunfire and explosions. Gaming headsets generally come in 3 different forms: wired 3.5mm headsets ,wired USB headsets and wireless headsets. One tends to usually decide which of these types to buy before considering things like 7.1 surround, Dolby audio, noise cancellation, etc. 3.5 mm and wireless headsets immediately present compelling features: the former can be used in tandem with a quality soundcard to produce sublime audio output, the latter frees the user from the burden of cables. We are left to investigate the advantages of buying a USB headset, and observe how they compare to the rest. In this article, Benchmark Reviews will test the AZiO Levetron GH808 Gaming Headset and see if it is a viable option for an enhanced audio experience.
USB gaming headsets are ideal for gamers who don't have good on-board sound or a dedicated sound card but still desire decent sound output; USB headsets use on-board sound processing usually in combination with configuration software to deliver great sounds. They are also great for those with multiple machines or gaming laptops.
Read more: AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset @ Benchmark ReviewsFractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
The fact that Scandinavian design is understated yet extremely functional makes it very adaptable to many things and not just limited to furniture making or contemporary architecture design. Bringing minimalist and reasonable functionality to the PC market, Sweden-based Fractal Design has caught the attention of many enthusiasts and system builders ever since their first line of chassis debuted. Fractal Design’s cases appealed to a mature aesthetic sensibility yet looked modern without appearing soul-less like so many expensive, sharp-edged aluminum chassis. This trend continues with the release of an update to their Arc Midi mid-tower case.
Fractal Design's Arc Midi R2 case retains the minimalist Scandinavian design of the first generation Arc Midi chassis but with several key improvements. The Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 changes the HDD cage configuration from a 4+4 layout to a more SLI/CrossFireX friendly 5+3 stack that can be adjusted to face the front or sides. The bundled fan controller on the original Arc Midi case is now integrated at the front I/O, taking the space once occupied by a USB port. The Arc Midi R2's built-in fan controller has three speed settings and can adjust the three pre-installed 140mm fans. Unlike other mid-tower cases, the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 is accommodating to liquid-cooling enthusiasts and has been designed to support a pair of 240mm or 280mm (15mm spacing) at the same time on the front and top. Large tower-style air-coolers up to 180mm tall and video cards up to 430mm long are also supported inside the spacious 230 x 460 x 515mm (W x H x D) interior of the Arc Midi R2.
Read more: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case Review @ Hi Tech LegionOWC Mercury Accelsior E2 PCIe SSD Review - Dual eSATA Performance of 780MB/s Tested and Approved @ The SSD Review
It wasn’t long after that we were contacted by OWC once again and subsequently reviewed their new Mercury Helios Thunderbolt Chassis that enable external storage of the Accelsior, along with many other solid state drive models. We tested the Accelsior in the Helios for transfer speeds of 706MB/s read and 593MB/s write performance, but just for kicks, we also through in an Intel 910 Data Center PCIe SSD, valued at somewhere around $3000, that provided results of 900MB/s read and 836MB/s write performance. Our new found love for Thunderbolt was obvious and that Helios has been front and center on my desk since. Once again, the Helios grabbed our Innovation Award.
Read more: OWC Mercury Accelsior E2 PCIe SSD Review - Dual eSATA Performance of 780MB/s Tested and Approved @ The SSD Review3 Reasons Why Google Will Be More Valuable Than Microsoft @ ThinkComputers.org
However, some investment analysts are predicting Google will be bigger and more valuable than Microsoft, why is this? The answer lies in what can only be called the startup culture of Google, or as has been coined, the dynamic corporation. First, lets take a quick look at the journey of the Google stock before looking at three reasons why Google could very well be more valuable in the near future. Google is a much younger company and listed in 2004 at $100 per share. Today, with the share trading at $800 and assuming we exclude the recent share split, your one share investment will have netted you $700 more in just 9 years. Financial analysts however predict Google could go as high as $1600 in the next few years; why is this?
Read more: 3 Reasons Why Google Will Be More Valuable Than Microsoft @ ThinkComputers.orgNVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 3-Way SLI Review @ HardOCP
We follow-up with a full evaluation of GeForce GTX TITAN 3-way SLI in today's latest games. We will compare GTX TITAN 3-way SLI to GTX 680 3-way SLI and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3-way CrossFire in a triple-display setup at 5760x1200. Find out what it takes to run Crysis 3 maxed out across three displays.
Read more: NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 3-Way SLI Review @ HardOCPFractal Design Define Mini Case Review @ Anandtech
Good micro-ATX enclosures have actually been frighteningly rare of late; manufacturers seem to be going big or going home, and only letting either beefy XL-ATX cases or diminutive mini-ITX cases out to play. It's a weird situation when the micro-ATX form factor seems to be ideal for the majority of end users. Enter Fractal Design and their Define Mini.
Read more: Fractal Design Define Mini Case Review @ AnandtechSapphire HD7790 2GB: Beefing up the Midrange Monster @ Bjorn3D
Sapphire was the first to get us a 7790 to check out and again the first with the 2GB variation of the card. Some neat little features make this card a nice standout from the crowd, so lets see what the card has to offer
Read more: Sapphire HD7790 2GB: Beefing up the Midrange Monster @ Bjorn3DGeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost & SLI Performance Review @ Techspot
Last September saw the release of the first GeForce GTX 650 graphics card. Aiming at the gamer on a budget, the card sold for just $110, however with memory bandwidth of just 80GB/s -- less than the 3-year old GTX 460 -- it came up short of becoming a noteworthy launch.
A month later, we saw the release of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti ($150). Thanks to the use of the GK106 architecture, it offered considerably better performance as the larger die allowed for a more aggressive core configuration, improving texture fill rates by 75%. The GTX 650 Ti became our favorite $100 - $150 graphics card last year, as it thrashed the Radeon HD 7770.
Read more: GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost & SLI Performance Review @ Techspot